The Wildcat Park management contract with Fireside Management LLC was approved for the 2023 camping season at the April 25 Houston County commission meeting.
Amber Miller and Steve Goetzinger, Fireside Management LLC were present to answer commissioners’ question along with County Engineer Brian Pogodzinski and County Attorney Samuel Jandt regarding the Wildcat Park contract. Jandt noted that the one-year agreement is a work-in-process because both the county and Miller have minimal information to work with. Next year both parties will be in a better position to negotiate. Jandt emphasized that the county is “in a much better place” with this contract, specifically the insurance.
Miller noted that they will be implementing an online reservation system that will help to increase revenue and meet the needs of the campers. If the camping season is extended that will also help to increase revenue.
Miller shared, “We have spent the last five years camping at Wild Cat. We want to share our happy place with more Houston County residents.”
Pogodzinski is looking at the cost to bring water and electricity to the site which Miller and Goetzinger will call home for the summer and the cost to add additional sites in the same area near the office. New sites would increase revenue for both parties.
As a camper at Wildcat Park, Commissioner Bob Schuldt noted that he likes the changes being implemented.
Chairman Dewey Severson called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. and led the board and the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. The board approved the meeting agenda. They also approved the minutes from the April 4 regularly scheduled commission meeting and the April 18 workgroup session with Commission Myhre abstaining as he was not in attendance at the workgroup meeting.
All five commissioners attended the April 25 meeting, including Chairman Severson, Eric Johnson, Robert (Bob) Burns, Bob Schuldt and Greg Myhre.
Two members of the public, Daniel Gavin and Jan Kraabel, addressed the commission regarding the second amendment resolution which was discussed at the April 18 workgroup session. Gavin wondered if the commissioners were going to move ahead and do it or not. Chairman Severson answered that the commission is still discussing it.
At 9:04 a.m. Chairman Severson called to close the regular meeting and open the public hearing in regard to the combination on/off sale and Sunday liquor license application for Shellhorn Enterprises LLC DBA Shellhorn Bar and Grill. Auditor/Treasurer Donna Trehus noted that she did not receive any comments regarding the application. New owners, Jennifer Meindel and Brandon Ranzenberger confirmed that it was the same type of license the previous owners had. Opening date is tentatively scheduled for May 1.
In one unanimous motion the commissioners approved the consent agenda including the annual Minnesota Lawful Gambling Application LG214 for Caledonia Sno-Gophers Snowmobile Club for gambling activities to be conducted at Shellhorn Barn and Grill in Brownsville Township, and the combination on/off sale and Sunday liquor license for Shellhorn Bar and Grill, advertising for temporary/casual (67 day) sheriff’s deputies to cover boat patrol shifts for the 2023 boating season, and advertising for temporary/casual (67 day) sheriff’s deputies for road patrol shift coverage.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the re-appointment of commissioner Robert Burns to the SELCO/SELS Board of Directors for a three-year term. Burns’ current term ends on July 31, 2023. This is his second three-year term.
• Approved Resolutions 23-16 Viking Ridge Riders Snowmobile Trail, 23-17 La Crescent Snowmobile Trail, 23-18 Houston Money Creek Snowmobile Trail, and 23-19 Gopherland Snowmobile Trail to maintain the trails. Houston County is the fiscal agent.
• Reappoint Joan Heim-Welch to the Water Plan Committee. Her term runs from January 1, 2022-December 31, 2024.
• Approved the revised work order under the MnDOT partnership agreement for the MN 26/CSAH3 project that was approved on March 14, 2023. MnDot has sent this back to update the wording in a few sections and to include the attachments within the agreement.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:59 a.m.
The next regularly scheduled Houston County Commission meeting is Tuesday, May 2, at 9 a.m. in the County Commission Board Room 222, located on the second floor in the historic county courthouse, Caledonia, or via the county conference call line (312) 626-6700 enter ID: 994-7297-7175 and password 368422. Public attendees are requested to mute their line until addressed.